Saturday, July 6, 2019


The South East Agro Board  (SEA-Board) ,  a  Regional  level  agricultural organization working in the field of export of various Livestock,  Fresh Fruits, Vegetable & Processed Food Products has emerged and fully  commissioned and Operational.  Due to perceived threat by the  Federal Government of Nigeria to carved out lands for Fulani Settlement under the auspices of Cattle Colony  alias “RUGA” across the 36 States of the Federation, we the indigenous people of  the Eastern Region, the “OHANEZE YOUTH WING” are saying no to cattle colony.  We therefore have synthesized, articulated and have informed key decisions in regular consultations with the relevant authorities and stakeholders have immediately commenced Cattle Rearing Business with aim to  export Livestock (Cows alias “Efi Igbo”, Goats, Sheep, Birds),  Cereals and Grains, Fruits & Vegetable to Europe, USA, South East Asian Countries, Japan, and Middle East Countries etc. 

Export can provide better option for the marketing of the agro commodities & provides the alternative way of utilization of surplus productions already  on ground. A separate section of this Board is operating with Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) comprising of  High Level Trained Manpower across the globe. The trained manpower is engaged in imparting training to farmers, guiding new exporters and maintaining  the facility centres and working  in a very planned and effective way of management.  

Some of the remarkable achievements South East Agro Board  (SEA-Board) are listed  under:

I. Commercial & Agro Export

II. Implementation of Subsidy Scheme for  Regional Farmers 

III. Erection and successful utilization of export facility centres for various commodities in the state

IV. Participation in various International commodity specific promotion programs

V. Successful implementation of agro export zones of Livestock (Cow, Goat, Sheep, Birds) Fruits (mango, pomegranate, banana, Pears , and  mandarins), Cereal & Grains (Rice, Wheat, Sorghum, Millet, Maize, Mellon ) and Vegetables 

VI. Implementation of Asian Development Bank & IFAD funded projects on Global Agricultural Scale 

VII. Successfully organized farmers’ foreign study tour to Israel & Europe.

While we were growing up, we learnt of the Obudu Cattle Ranch and other ranches from where local varieties of livestock such as cows, goats and sheep were reared. These varieties which were indigenous to the evergreen vegetation zones were much more nutritious and highly prized than their lean and long-legged Sahelian counterparts. In fact, the northern livestock were generally looked down upon as inferior to the southern breeds.

“For instance, when you hear an Igbo chief hailed “Ogbu efi” the cow so referred to does not refer to the Sahelian, long-legged cows which today trample our farms and gorge on our crops. It refers to the shorter but heavier forest oxen which you do not find on the roadside butcher’s table. It is a delicacy for specialised ceremonies reserved for titled chiefs and those around them. Before the war, people kept those local variety of livestock as subsistent business behind their backyards. It is time we went back to this practice.

“Beyond the subsistence level, state governments in Igbo land can establish ranches and parcel out portions for the youth who are interested in livestock farming to embrace them. These youths should be trained to run these ranches as profitable businesses modelled on best practices around the world. Improved varieties of these livestock should be able to supply meat and dairy products that will make preferred alternatives to the nomadic Fulani cattle.

“Therefore, our governors must help our indigenous farmers by investing in cattle rearing and drive innovation in the agricultural sector as the high demand for beef in our states guarantees good returns on the investment. If this is done and the laws against open-grazing are firmly enforced in Igbo land, there will be no more room for armed pastoral militias and their sponsors seeking to steal other people’s ancestral lands under any guise of cattle colony alias “Ruga”. Above all, the Ohaneze Youth Wing in this regular meeting in Owerri announced the full commencement of Cattle Rearing Initiative in the South East Nigeria. It is our expectation to surpass the first world countries in the likes of Mexico, France, Brazil , even Australia by 2025.  

Mango is a important fruit commercially grown in the South East . The main strength of the South East  states lies in the cultivation of the popular exportable varieties. with substantial production and significant share in mango export. SEA-BOARD  has leading role in export of mangoes to various countries across the globe. In the last mango season 2018 about 1565 Metric tons of mangoes have been processed for the purpose of exports to various destinations.

The SEA-BOARD  promoted an organisation called SEA-GRAPES to boost the export of grapes. SEA-GRAPES is regularly exporting around 80 -10 containers to Europe and Middle East. They could establish their brand in the European markets. SEA-BOARD  also helped farmers co-operative societies to establish their own pre-cooling and cold storage units, by providing them technology and guidance. From the year 2012 the pack houses which are being used for Grape export are recognized in the Region.

Pomegranate is another important fruit grown in SEA-BOARD. Its usage and medicinal properties made this fruit more important and gradually increasing demand in the international markets like Europe, USA and Asia. SEA-BOARD   has taken a lead and successfully exported the pomegranate containers to UAE. Initially the demand was only in gulf countries, however SEA-BOARD  realized the need of the export oriented infrastructure for pomegranates and with the help of Regional government had exported pomegranates to USA.

The mandarin is a loose Jacket orange and to ensure that it reaches distant markets with least post-harvest losses during shipping, it must be devoid of pre-harvest infection by fungal organisms and skin attachments must be tight for prolonged shelf life. The mandarin has unique features easily separable skin and segments from each other, comparatively low seed content and low acids. An export of mandarins to  India is not a common phenomenon. In the history for the first time one trial container of  Mandarins was sent to UAE in the year 2014, and it reached in very good condition. 

In spite of the huge production of banana in the state of Eastern Region , the export is negligible. SEA-BOARD  is the pioneer of export of banana –Plantain from Eastern  State. For the first time one 40 feet container was exported in the year 2015 to UAE and the results are very encouraging. SEA-BOARD  has exported the banana 16 MT in February 2016 to Dubai through 40' Refer container.

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